The Way Things Are






Oh the tiredness
2005-04-01, 6:31 p.m.

Oh, the tiredness. My hair is tired, my sweater is tired, everything is tired. Weary.

Mom and I took Niece and Nephew out for a day of fun today. Their parents, the bereaved sister (my SIL) and brother-in-law (my Bro) of the deceased Fred, seemed to be okay. Quieter than usual, but seemed to have found themselves again. The bereaved parents, Fredís parents, were functioning. Did not look all that well, but they were not messes. But I donít think they have been able to find themselves yet.

Do you know what I mean when I talk about finding yourself again? I mean how a tragedy or profound sadness strips away your personality, your smile, your ability to converse, and leaves your shell behind. You are stripped down to almost nothing, but you gradually come back to yourself. People do it.

My grandparents did after my father died. He died when I was 3, and I can remember being 4, 5, 6 years old, and my grandparents were happy with me. I donít remember sadness from them. I also donít remember understanding what had happened. I understood it intellectually (or intellecturally, as I originally wrote), that is, I could tell people ďMy dad died in Beet Nam,Ē but I didnít really understand it in my heart til I was 9 or 10 years old.

How could my grandparents have been happy people so soon after the death of their son? How did I not see sadness, or tragedy, or grief from them? I remember seeing my mother sad, can still see her sitting on the edge of her bed with her face in her hands, crying.

Did my grandparents get back to themselves that quickly, or were they putting on a brave face for my brother and me? Iíd like to think that my being an almost constant presence in their lives helped, but even I canít muster that kind of arrogance. It may have had something to do with the circumstances of his death, which I donít think would lessen the loss or the grief any, but might make it somehow less of an ordeal to get through. Less of a shock.

I donít know. People say ďOh, if that happened to me, Iíd die. Iíd just kill myself. I couldnít go on living.Ē But people do go on living. They survive things, losses, that none of us can even imagine until we go through it ourselves. I couldnít imagine going on living Ė I canít imagine LIFE would go on happening, if something happened to my Lil Guy. But I look around and I see people who do it. They survive the worst thing that can happen to you. They keep on living, and they never get over it, but they push through it, and it stays with them and becomes a part of them, and they are new, different people on the other side of it. They find themselves, they come back into themselves, but they are never the same again.

So I guess in a sense, who you were and what your life was really does die. Your shell fills back up with yourself, but also with the sadness and loss.

I am so sad about that loss. Iím sad about the loss of Fred, and Iím sad about the loss his loved ones have experienced, and Iím sad that his parents will never be the same people I knew before. Iím sad for them, and sad for myself in a way, in that I will miss who they were.

Iím tired. Itís been a long week, and my newly size 7 feet are tired.

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